Thursday, September 30, 2010

Skyping & IM'ing - Why Insta-Communication is Your Friend & Foe

I'm a Skype-a-holic Skyper and log into Skype every day. I work with a Texas agency and I live in California - makes communication between us a lot easier. Who doesn't love the modern conveniences of insta-communication? Between phone conferences and instant messaging, my world is a constant stream of phrases that include:"Can you Skype conference call at 4pm PDT? or "I'm sending the website link right now via chat."  Skype works great for international calls. I recently talked to a friend in Australia and another colleague in Argentina - not too shabby for not having to pay a dime to use Skype.

In May, Skype added their app so people can use it on 3G networks - another great idea. Or is it? As a Blackberry user, I became frustrated with learning the in's and out's of my Skype app but I worked through the techie hoopla. 

Are these insta-communication online tools really our friends or possibly our foes? TeleGeography reported that 54 billion minutes international call minutes (out of a total of 406 international call minutes) were Skpe-to-Skype international calls. That's a lot of chattiness happening in the world. How much is used for business and how much for pleasure? How many people use instant messaging for good or for evil?

What's so great about Skype and instant messaging chat programs such as Yahoo Messenger or Gmail's chat feature? Yes, they are fast and convenient and you can chat 24,7 and 365 days a year. As a business professional, these programs have made my life a lot easier.

However, as easy and wonderful as this technology makes our lives, it also carries risk. For companies who use Skype and instant messaging technology, you face security, compliance, inappropriate usage by employees and of course, the biggie - trade secret leaks. Then we have those friendly crackers (black hat hackers) who sneak into Yahoo Messenger and attack with "phishing" (pesky spam and bots that pop out from the cyber ether). Even though "insta-communication" online makes our lives more convenient, be aware of the security risks - make sure your firewalls and virus softwares are up-to-date.

I'm not giving up my instant messaging programs or Skype anytime soon but it makes me think more carefully about what I share and whom I share it with in IM-Land or via Skype call. Now if only Skype could deliver a latte to me in the morning - maybe Starbucks and Skype should team up- hmmmm, that's a thought.

How has Skype and/or instant messaging made your life/business easier, or maybe it hasn't? Happy Skyping & IM'ing!  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why You Need to Be a Left Brain & Right Brain Entrepreneur

Last week, I shared my insightful interview with my friend and mentor - online marketing guru-ess, Victoria Ipri. After chatting with Victoria, I thought about my own path as a freelancer and entrepreneur.  I realized that dynamic entrepreneurs such as Victoria Ipri are successful because they aren't afraid to dive into unknown waters.

I had the privilege of recently participating in a teleclass by the lovely and energetic SARK called "Magic Management." It was geared towards solo professionals, business owners and anyone who wants to pursue their deepest passions and dreams. She talked with us about our "Inner CEO" (doer) versus our "Inner Spirit" (dreamer) - our left and right brain energies. It made me realize - hmm, have I been truly tapping into these energies and making them work for my business and my clients?

As entrepreneurs, it's imperative that we tap into both our left and right brain energies in order to be successful. Sometimes those tried and true marketing methods that worked in 1995 may not work anymore in 2010. Fear stops us from taking that leap into the unknown - maybe that "unknown" has stopped you from creating a website or writing a blog. That little voice inside your head - your nagging inner critic - tells you "Noooo, I can't write!" We need to stop listening to our inner critics.

Do you realize you could be missing out on HUGE business opportunities if you ignore your creative side? You don't need to reserve your creativity for JUST your personal life. Sometimes it doesn't come easily for us to tap into our creativity and make it work in our business world. However, it's a matter of taking that leap of faith to delve into a place that's uncomfortable. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Interview on Leigh Writes Copy - thanks Leigh!

A big thanks to Leigh Muzslay Browne for featuring me on her Leigh Writes Copy blog today. I talk about my non-profit fundraising days and how it led me to my writing and freelance career. I really appreciate the support of all my friends, family, colleagues and clients throughout my freelance journey!

Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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